Top 5 Tips for Spring Tree Preparation
Spring has finally sprung! That means your trees will be in need of some attention and care.
Whether you are a new homeowner looking to take care of the trees in your yard by yourself, or a landscaper looking for a set list of what to do - this list will provide you with the guidance and steps that you need.
Springtime is the perfect time to start providing your trees with some extra love and attention. Because they have been essentially asleep for the past three months, as well as having had moisture and debris build upon them, it is vital that your trees are taken care of as early into spring as possible.
There are a few different steps that you should initially take with your trees once they have finally woken up after their winter hibernation. We will be looking at several different tips to ensure that your trees will thrive over the next few months.
Our first step simply involves cleaning the tree and the surrounding areas of it. Between snow, rain, dead leaves, winter coverings, decor, as well as debris from wildlife, it may seem like a daunting task.
To get started, make sure to remove any remaining holiday decor from the trunks and branches. When lights are wrapped around the body or limbs of your tree, it can actually restrain and warp the growth of your trees over an extended period of time. If you are someone who wants to keep lights up year round, there are definitely safe ways to do it as well.
It is also very important to make sure that you weed thoroughly around the trees. This is the easiest time to get this done in your spring tree preparation.
In addition to that, making sure that dead leaves and sticks are not clogging up the areas around the tree is vital. Make sure to rake about three or four feet out from the base of the tree to make room for the other steps in this process. Start with a completely fresh slate before beginning on the other steps - this process will make it easier to take care of everything on the list.
Now that the entire area around your trees has been cleaned up, you can move on to putting down mulch.
When laying mulch for your trees, make sure to give each trunk a layer that is about three or four inches thick all around. If this seems like a lot, just consider that this makes a solid protective layer for them.
This is an extremely important process for your trees because the mulch will allow the tree to retain more water, instead of allowing it to run off. It is also a fantastic help for keeping away weeds and will reduce the damage from your lawnmower.
To ensure that your tree does not dry out as the weather continues to get warmer, make sure to give it a thorough watering throughout the spring.
Depending on the age and how established your tree is, the watering process may be varied. With trees that are established and over a few years old, make sure not to water them directly on or next to the trunk. The roots of the tree will expand much further than that, and watering them in a wider circle around the trunk will keep it healthier and protected from disease.
If you have a younger tree, you should water closer to the trunk, as it not as established yet. The roots of trees under 3 years old are usually not spread out completely.
It is better for your trees that instead of watering them as frequently as possible, that you water them deeply. This simply means that because tree roots are about 18-24 inches below the surface, it is better for them to get a complete soaking less often to ensure they retain more water.
Our next step is going to be pruning your trees.
Springtime is ideal for pruning because all your greenery has been dormant for the past few months. It is also a great time for it because there are fewer leaves, making it easier to see what you are doing, as well as fewer bugs and pests, and a lower risk of disease.
To prune your trees, you will want to make sure to remove all dead and diseased branches. If there are extra stubs from old limbs, make sure to remove those, as well as cutting back branches that rub together.
For more established trees that are larger in size - homeowners are better off leaving that to professionals who have the proper equipment for managing drastic heights and sizes.
Springtime is the perfect time to start fertilizing your trees - mostly because this is right before everything starts growing and blossoming.
Most plants with wood store elements from the previous year and additional fertilization can help those trees with an extra boost in the spring.
To ensure that your plants are being fertilized properly, here are a few tips. Provide larger trees with about ¼ to ½ pound of nitrogen per inch of diameter, and for smaller trees use ¼ of a pound. Over time it will be easier to tell if more fertilizer is needed, but this is a good place to start.
Apply the fertilizer directly on the drip line of the tree, and if you want it to be absorbed faster, drill holes into the surrounding areas with a punch or a probe.
Maintaining your trees is, of course, a year-round job, but taking big steps to ensure their health in the early spring will set them up for a great year! Each season comes with its own tasks and chores, so make sure you are taking care of your trees every day, all year.
With these tips and the help of Arborist Now, your trees should be happy, healthy and thriving this season!